Stop conditional formatting on parent rows

So we're trying to highlight when tasks are past due, so we set up conditional formatting to highlight rows with due dates = in the past and the status = not complete. The issue is this is also applied to parent rows, which have a "due date" because it auto generates from the tasks under it but since it's not a task, it's not marked as complete.

Is there a way so that the conditional formatting isn't applied to parent rows or is there some other workaround here?


  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Vick,

    You could add a so-called helper column. It can be manual or automatic.

    The manual way. Add the helper column as a checkbox type column and then check the box for the parent(s) and use that in the conditional formatting to exclude the parent rows.

    Make sense?

    Would that work?

    I hope that helps!

    Be safe and have a fantastic week!


    Andrée Starå

    Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

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  • Mike Wilday
    Mike Wilday ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    You could also add a standard character to the task name in each parent row (an icon or a word) and then in your conditional settings add another condition that the task name doesn't contain that character or word.

  • I thought about this too, but Smartsheet doesn't seem to give that option. I can only add a condition that the task name contains ___, but not that it doesn't contain.

  • Mike Wilday
    Mike Wilday ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow. So true. That makes no sense. I'd consider submitting a product enhancement request. To automate Andree's suggestion use the following formula: =COUNT(CHILDREN([Task Name]@row)) in the entire helper column.

    That formula will give you a number quantity... anything with 0 would be a child. So you could set up your condition to include that the helper column must = 0.

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